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What I Buy…Ikea

2011 October 11

A friend of mine recently posted an innocuous little Facebook status about spending his Sunday morning braving the crowds at his local Ikea. One of his “friends” jumped on him right away, “why are you shopping at Ikea? how can you support them?” etc. etc., wah wah wah.

My immediate reaction? Why the hell not?

Yes, it’s big, it’s corporate, it’s…Ikea. But it’s also affordable, boasts increasingly better design, and is a family-friendly shopping destination which, frankly, the world could use more of. Yes, once we hit our 30s, skater hubs and I wanted anything but an Ikea’d out house, but we can’t deny its allure altogether and I have come to rely on a few staples from there that simply can’t be beat for their style, substance and common sense. Herewith, my favorite Ikea finds:

All product images via

1) Lillabo ($14.99) – Ikea’s kids toys are Melissa and Doug-esque (i.e. simple wooden pleasures), last forever, and keep my kids happy and entertained in the cart while we browse throw pillows.

2) Frajen ($2.99) – I use these towels in the kitchen and am slightly obsessed. They come in fun, bold colors that liven up a neutral color scheme – we have pairs of them in orange, pink, purple, green and grey and switch them out every few days, like throw pillows for your kitchen! – are great quality even after multiple washes and again, cheap, cheap, cheap.

3) Bygel ($0.99 and $2.99 for rack) – A friend of mine’s lovely little home in Carmel inspired me to get my kids’ art table organized and these containers are the perfect solution. I bought the purple ones, but all the colors are darling, and you can hang them on the accompanying rack on a wall above their art table/area and use each one for a different purpose. One for crayons, one for markers, one for pencils, and repeat.

4) Tindra ($1.99) – Probably my favorite Ikea find of them all. Tindra candles in vanilla. They release the perfect scent, not too strong, not too light, are perfect indoors and out, and fortunately they come in various shapes and sizes and I can afford to buy them in bulk (though this is my preferred size.) Just be sure to remove the sticky label with the image of vanilla-inspired sweets and TINDRA in all caps. Of course since it’s Ikea,  it’s easy to peel it right off and leaves no residue. Because they think of everything.

5) Grundtal ($4.99/3 pack and $8.99 for rack) – Another “keep it neat” trick I have up my sleeve. These spice containers were another welcome addition to the kids’ play loft. They are perfect for beads, marbles, stickers, and the like and sit on a magnetic rack that we affixed to the wall. Looks cool and Little D loves to put them away herself — a win-win for everyone involved.

2 Responses
  1. November 8, 2011

    great finds! Ikea really does have amazing items sometimes – do you ever shop at CB2? I may be late to the game but it’s similar and awesome 🙂


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